Have you ever wondered how many keys are on a keyboard? It depends if you mean a computer keyboard or a piano keyboard.

In this article, we will explore both types of keyboards.

How Many Keys on a Computer Keyboard?

Keyboards come in all shapes and sizes, but the vast majority can be divided into three broad categories: those with 74 keys or fewer, those with 101-104 keys, and those with 105 keys or more.

The most common type of keyboard is the 104-key board, which includes a full set of alphanumeric keys, a separate number pad, function keys, and other assorted Control and Alt keys. This type of keyboard is typically used with desktop computers.

On the other hand, laptop keyboards generally have fewer keys since they must be small enough to fit within the limited space available on a laptop’s chassis. As a result, many laptop keyboards have been shrunk down to just 74 keys.

Finally, some keyboards – usually those designed for gaming – have been expanded to include additional keys beyond the standard 104. These extra keys can activate special in-game commands or macros, providing a competitive advantage for gamers. No matter what type of keyboard you prefer, there’s sure to be one that fits your needs.

IBM/PC Keyboards

  • 83 keys on the original IBM PC keyboard (1981)
  • 84 keys on the AT keyboard
  • 84 keys on the updated IBM PC keyboard (1984)
  • 86 keys on the Windows-based laptop keyboard
  • 101 keys on the AT-enhanced keyboard
  • 101 keys on a traditional US keyboard
  • 102 keys on the Enhanced European Keyboard
  • 104 keys on the Windows keyboard
  • The number of special keys on the Windows-based multimedia keyboard varies

Apple Keyboards

  • 78 keys on the Apple wireless keyboard
  • 78 keys on the Apple MacBook Air laptop
  • 109 keys on the Apple keyboard with a numeric keypad

Miscellaneous Keyboards

Some keyboards include additional keys beyond the standard 104, catering to specific uses such as gaming, media center control, or programming. The most common are Korean, Japanese, and Brazilian keyboards, which arrange keys differently to accommodate the frequency of certain characters in those languages.

Others may have programmable keys that can be customized to trigger various actions, macros, or media keys to control the playback of music and video or launch applications.

Gaming keyboards often incorporate specialized functions like backlighting, on-the-fly macro recording, and extra USB ports. While the exact number varies depending on the keyboard’s functions, most keyboards with extended functionality fall into the range of 110 to 115 keys.

How Many Keys on a Keyboard on Mac

Mac keyboards come in two versions. The most current one has a compact version with only 78 keys (as compared to the older version with a full-size keyboard layout with 109 keys).

The smaller keyboard is designed to be as unobtrusive and portable as possible.

The larger keyboard has tools that will help you be more efficient while working at your Mac, but it also has all the other keys you’ll find on a regular full-size computer keyboard.

How Many Keys on a Keyboard With Numpad?

A numeric keypad, number pad, Numpad, or ten key, is the palm-sized, usually 17-key section of a standard computer keyboard, usually on the far right. It provides calculator-style efficiency for entering numbers.

Built to replicate the math functions of an adding machine or calculator, they allow efficient input using only the operator’s right hand (for those who are not ambidextrous).

Many computers have a combination of numeric keypads and keypad cursor arrow keys.

A keyboard with Numpad has a total of 104 keys.

How Many Keys on a Keyboard Without Numpad?

TKL means “Ten Key Less” and refers to keyboards without a Numpad on the side. This means the keyboard has 87 or 88 keys, unlike a standard 104-keyset keyboard.

For most non-Numpad users, the reduction of unused keys improves aesthetics and ergonomics. However, if you have small hands or need to use a mouse more often, you may find a TKL layout is best for you.

How Many Keys Are on a Piano Keyboard?

In piano, the kind of keyboard that most teachers and players generally prefer is the one with the full 88 keys.

This type of keyboard is said to be fully chromatic in contrast to other keyboards, which are limited to playing several notes by only having a few keys.

What is the Minimum Number of Keys for a Beginner Keyboard?

The number of keys on a keyboard impacts the range of music that can be played. Most keyboards come in smaller and larger sizes, each with a different number of keys.

If you are a beginner, get a keyboard with between 66 and 76 keys. These keyboards are easy to find, affordable, and perfect for beginners and children.

The most common size is an 88-key keyboard. 88-key keyboards are used by almost all professional pianists and offer the widest range of musical abilities.

While playing on a smaller instrument (like a 73 or 76-key) is possible, it may prove more difficult to learn certain pieces.

Many piano teachers for beginners insist that their students use an 88-key keyboard as soon as they start taking lessons.

Tim Miller

Tim has always been obsessed with computers his whole life. After working for 25 years in the computer and electronics field, he now enjoys writing about computers to help others. Most of his time is spent in front of his computer or other technology to continue to learn more. He likes to try new things and keep up with the latest industry trends so he can share them with others.

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